A man was recovered from the water and two are still missing after a fishing boat sank off the coast of East Sussex. The Coast Guard HM sped up a search and rescue helicopter after receiving an EPIRB distress beacon from the fishing vessel Joanna C at 6 am on Saturday.
A rescue helicopter stationed in Leed, Kent, was deployed with two RNLI survival boats in New Haven and Eastbourne to attempt to find the missing boat and a lighthouse signal placed the ship three nautical miles off the coast of Seaford, near New Haven.
In an update at 10:30 AM, HM Coastguard said a man was rescued from the water by a Newhaven RNLI lifeboat and taken to hospital. He was found clinging to a lifebuoy.
The Coast Guard said Joanna C is a scallop vessel 45 feet long registered in Brixham, and the three people on board when it sank. The search for two missing crew members has been canceled at 11 PM, but will resume at first light on Sunday.
In addition to RNLI’s lifeboats, the Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue team examined sights from the shore. Another fishing vessel near the area assisted with the search, while a Coast Guard rescue helicopter stationed at Solent was deployed to relieve the aircraft stationed in Kent.
“HM Coast Guard’s National Maritime Operations Center coordinated a major rescue effort today, with several units searching relentlessly since the first appearance and finding a victim who was safely recovered to hospital,” said Chris Thomas, HM Coastguard deputy director.
“Unfortunately two crew members haven’t been found yet and all our thoughts are with their family and friends.
“It is a testament to the local marine community that HM Coastguard received impressive support throughout the day from neighboring ships and local fishing communities who joined us vigorously and went to great lengths to locate their colleagues during the hunt.
“At one point, Coast Guard coordinators described tracking 14 ships covering the search plan area including two RNLI boats, all of the lifeboats at sea.”
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